• April 2, 2020 |

    how to socialize in the age of social distancing

    10 fun ways to remotely hang out with your friends

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    So my strife with the universe seems to continue and has unfortunately become more extreme since the last time I wrote to you. Things have taken, to put it lightly, one hell of a turn since the last issue. Ah, yes, remember when we were all back at Brown? COVID-free, complaining about midterms? Good times. There’s really no other way to put it: Things are really shitty and horrid right now. But, for many of us, the solution is straightforward: social distancing for the foreseeable future. In these uncertain, scary, and unprecedented times, one of the more difficult things to navigate is how to keep in touch with the Brown fam. So, after much experimentation and deliberation in isolation, I’ve come up with 10 fun ways you can socialize with your friends in the era of Social Distancing! 


    1. Zoom Party: Miss the weekends when your friend would drag you to a party that you somehow ended up enjoying? Miss sharing amazing conversations with your friends, or even meeting new ones? Fortunately, you’re not alone! All you need to do is set up a time, grab your favorite refreshment, put on some music, and get Zooming. Looking to meet new people? Never fear, the internet has your back! Zoom parties, concerts, and virtual meetups with random friends are all the rage right now! I’d recommend these guides for creative ideas.
    2. Play multiplayer online games: Of my many regrets, not going to board game nights before the apocalypse is somewhere near the top of the list. Conversations can get a bit dry and repetitive in these “unprecedented and trying times,” and everyone could use an escape from the madness. Well, good thing you can still keep the squad together over your favorite multiplayer game. Whether it’s playing Animal Crossing, League, (insert legit gamer game here), or something simpler like Psych!, Cards Against Humanity, or Heads Up, boards game night could be a fun escape for you and your squad!
    3. Cooking: If you’re tired of sitting in your room all day lounging in bed in front of a screen, do I have a fun activity for you! You can teach yourself new skills in the kitchen, eat delicious food, and even do it over FaceTime with your friends. Try a recipe you’ve always wanted to cook with a friend and work out each step together—once you’re done, it’ll be just like grabbing a meal with your pal.
    4. Tagging each other in memes: The easiest way to check up on your buddy is to tag ’em in a #relatable meme. The meme business has been on top of its game lately, with meme pages across the internet putting out fire meme after fire meme. So spread the joy (or dread masked with humor, whatever floats your boat) and tag your friends.
    5. Make memes: Getting tired of scrolling into the abyss of COVID-19 memes? Longing for some friendly banter? Looking to make use of you and your friends’ collective comedic prowess? It’s your time to shine: Collaborate on memes and help keep the meme economy stocks rising! This is a great way to socialize remotely while being creative and getting in a lot of laughs together.
    6. Make a Podcast: This, folks, is the moment you’ve been waiting for. Have you always wanted to start a podcast with your friends? Were you waiting for the opportunity to broadcast your opinions to the world? Did your favorite podcast go on hiatus? Well, it’s your time to shine. Turns out it’s pretty easy to make a podcast (at least a low quality one). Just start a Zoom meeting and hit the record button while you and your friends talk about….well…anything! Boom! Podcast made!
    7. Study together: While the world outside is burning, it might feel hard to be productive. One way you and your friends can help each other during these times is to study remotely together. Work silently over Zoom with a friend to hold each other accountable, taking small breaks to chat every now and then! This way, you can socialize while still getting your work done. Plus, I personally get a lot of enjoyable banter out of problem set sessions while I try to convince people that I’m right.
    8. Collective Binge Watch: Miss watching TV with the squad? Have you come to the realization that the only part of The Bachelor you enjoyed was the part when you and your friends ridiculed the show together? Well, you can still use The Bachelor to torture your brain with your friends from home!One way you could do it is with the Netflix Party extension. Just download the extension on Chrome, pick a series to watch, and you’ll be watching your favorite Netflix series simultaneously, with a chat window to keep the commentary going! Want to have active conversations? You can pick one person in the group that has Netflix (or your streaming service of choice) to share their screen on Zoom. And here’s an idea—you could even start your very own YouTube reaction channel this way!
    9. Mixtapes: Let’s get inventive. A great way to keep in touch with your friends is through music. This doesn’t even require Zoom: Just create a public playlist on Spotify and get everyone to add songs to it. You can also create personalized playlists for your friends and exchange them! #WholesomeFriendGifts. Here’s my quarantine playlist—feel free to add your own picks.
    10. Jam session: Some of my fondest memories at Brown were all the 1 a.m. jam sessions with my actually talented roommates and my tone-deaf self. Do you miss hitting all the wrong notes while essentially screaming to “All Star”? Wish you could ask your guitarist friend to “play ‘Wonderwall,’ bro?”  It sounds like it’s time for an online concert. If famous singers can do it, so can you! Get your friends on Zoom, pick up your friendly neighborhood instrument (a guitar, pots and pans, your terrible voice, a kazoo, whatever you can find), and play your heart out.

    On a more serious note, this is a terrible time and there is a lot of uncertainty we’re all dealing with. Unfortunately, for the time being, this is only going to get worse, and many of us are going to be personally affected. But we will get through this together! Now more than ever, we need to do our part and support each other as a community. Most of us are being asked to stay at home for the foreseeable future—and while I know it can be hard, lonely, and even depressing, together we will get through this. If we each do our part, we will reunite soon. So hang in there, and continue to hang with your friends online!